Bernhard Langer is 58, an age where his reign as the best player on the PGA Tour Champions should be waning. Yet there is scant evidence of a decline, even in the wake of a new rule prohibiting anchoring the putter against the body.
“First win unanchored,” he said after winning the Chubb Classic by three strokes at TwinEagles Golf Club in Naples, Fla., the 26th victory of his senior career.
The new rule went into effect Jan. 1 and was thought to be problematic for Langer, who has used a long putter anchored to his chest for years. He has been experimenting with different methods, but on Friday Langer decided to use the long putter without anchoring it. The result: He shot a 10-under-par 62 to take a four-stroke lead.
He expanded it to seven with a second-round 66, allowing for a bumpy victory lap, a final-round 73 on TwinEagles’ Talon course.
The win moved Langer into solo third in career victories on the PGA Tour Champions, behind only Hale Irwin with 45 and Lee Trevino with 29. Irwin probably is safe, but given Langer’s sustained brilliance, Trevino’s number is in the crosshairs.